Ivorian Coast Police have arrested a dozen suspects after a military base near Ivory Coast’s economic capital of Abidjan was attacked last week, state radio said on Monday.
As gathered, Ivorian Radio Television (RTI) on its website said the 12 suspected attackers were arrested following an inquiry led by the gendarmerie, a police force under the orders of the defence ministry.
On the night of April 21, armed men stormed the Ivorian military base in N’dotre, north of Abidjan, killing a soldier. At least three of the attackers were killed and a fourth injured was taken, prisoner.
The Ivorian authorities have therefore put the army on alert and launched an investigation. “12 people were subsequently arrested and are believed to be linked to the attack.”
No information has yet been provided on the identity of these arrested persons or their nationality. A passport and driving licence issued by neighboring Liberia were found on two of the dead, according to the authorities.
Liberia on Friday strongly condemned the attack and vowed to prevent any incursions from its territory.
Security experts have long warned that the jihadist campaign in the Sahel, which erupted in northern Mali in 2012 before heading to Niger and Burkina Faso, could spread to countries along the Gulf of Guinea coast.
On March 29, suspected Islamists killed three members of the security forces on the northern border with jihadist-torn Burkina Faso. Three “terrorists” were killed and four arrested in the two attacks, the army said.
On April 12, a gendarmerie vehicle traveling in the same area was hit by an improvised explosive device, but without suffering any casualties, in the first known IED attack on Ivorian soil.
In June 2020, 14 soldiers were killed in a nighttime attack on the Burkinabe border that was attributed to jihadists. In 2016, 19 people were killed, including Westerners, when jihadists attacked the tourist resort of Grand-Bassam near Abidjan.